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CSKA give Dzagoev teenage kicks

Alan Dzagoev played down his superb opening strike for PFC CSKA Moskva as they claimed a 2-1 Group B home victory over Beşiktaş JK, and celebrated a timely return to form for the Russian side.

Alan Dzagoev celebrates his goal against Beşiktaş
Alan Dzagoev celebrates his goal against Beşiktaş ©Getty Images

Alan Dzagoev played down his superb opening strike for PFC CSKA Moskva in their 2-1 victory over Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 2, and celebrated a timely return to form for the Russian side.

Keeper caught
Although the teenager admitted he had not looked where he was shooting, Dzagoev's dipping effort in the seventh minute set CSKA on their way and a second-half goal from Miloš Krasić secured the points. Ekrem Dağ pulled one back in added time and though they finished strongly, Beşiktaş hardly had time to settle on the artificial turf at the Luzhniki Stadium before the 19-year-old Dzagoev stunned experienced keeper Rüştü Reçber with a spectacular shot into the top corner in the seventh minute.

Helping hand
Though the strike seemed to come from nowhere, Tomáš Necid had already tipped off Dzagoev about a possible scoring opportunity. "Before the match, Necid told me, 'When there is a long pass or a clearance coming to me, get ready and look for the ball. I will lay it off for you'. That was exactly what happened. He got the ball, laid it off and I went forward and hit it cleanly. I didn't look where I was placing the shot, but it came off quite well." Left-winger Mark González was more flattering about both the effort and its impact on the game. "It was an amazing goal," he said, "and it was good for us to score very early. From that moment onwards, the game changed and CSKA did things better."

First points
Four days after a domestic defeat by FC Zenit St. Petersburg, CSKA's first UEFA Champions League victory in Moscow since October 2006 also brought their first points in Group B. Having started out with a loss to VfL Wolfsburg, the Army Men now lie third in the standings, level on points with the German side following their defeat by section leaders Manchester United FC at Old Trafford. "We played much better than on Matchday 1 and produced some good footballl," said Dzagoev, who seems to be thriving after being returned to the centre of midfield under new coach Juande Ramos, having played out on wide under his predecessor Zico.

Only regret
The only regret on Wednesday for Dzagoev, who has scored five times in the league this season, was Dağ's searing shot past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev in added time. "We conceded an unnecessary goal in the dying minutes," he said, adding that "I might be the one to blame" in terms of his marking. However, there were no fingers being pointed at the teenager by fellow midfielder Deividas Šemberas, who felt the whole side had eased up. "At 2-0 we started believing in our victory and we just went a bit limp," he said. "We gave the ball away and they started to dominate and then scored. But it's all OK, because we got the three points and that's what matters."